Palmerhouse Properties Real Estate wants to help first time home buyers with one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Buying your first home can be overwhelming, and we are here to help. We’ve taken all we’ve learned from our network of real estate agents and more than 30 years in real estate to help first time home buyers become homeowners.
No. 1: Get prequalified. Sellers typically won’t accept your offer unless it’s all cash or you have a lender’s letter saying you can get the financing you need to close the deal. Consequently, being prequalified for a loan is crucial.
You don’t want to lose the house of your dreams because you weren’t prequalified for the mortgage.
No. 2: Target your territory. Every town has pros and cons, but casting too wide a net can make you crazy. Decide where you want to live and focus on that area.
Do some drive-bys and make sure you like the setting of the house before seeing the property.
No. 3: Prioritize your preferences. Make a list of what’s important to you and your family, whether it is location, condition, price or certain amenities, and be prepared to make sacrifices.
You’re not going to find the absolutely most perfect house, If you get eight of 10 things you’ve done very well.
No. 4: Know your budget. Rather than guessing how much you can borrow or how much your closing costs will be, discuss specific numbers with a reputable lender or broker, that would be us!
Meet with the lender and get an idea of exactly how much you’re preapproved for. You want to have that conversation so you know where you stand.
No. 5: Be realistic. Shopping for a house that’s more costly than your budget is likely to mean disappointment since most sellers receive multiple offers equal to or higher than their asking price, If you’re preapproved for, say, $270,000, don’t ask to see homes priced higher than that.
No. 6: Act fast. Homes are selling quickly in many areas due to limited inventory. That means you should check out any newly for-sale properties that interest you as soon as possible. If a house is listed Monday, don’t wait until Saturday to see it, It could be sold by then.
No. 7: Don’t play price games. Some first-time homebuyers try to sweeten their offer with a higher price, then recoup the money in seller-paid closing costs, repair credits or other concessions, that’s not smart because if the appraisal doesn’t support that higher price, you won’t be able to get your financing.
It’s hard to say, We’ll give them more than asking, then ask for concessions.
No. 8: Pay closing costs. Asking the seller to pay your closing costs will weaken your offer and lessen your chances of success.
All the sellers care about is their net. If you ask for 3 percent closing, that’s 3 percent out of the seller’s pocket.
No. 9: Accept defects. The same logic applies to asking the seller to pay for repairs, unless you’re applying for an FHA or VA loan.
If it’s an FHA or VA loan, you pretty much don’t have a choice about asking for repairs if something is a safety concern, or if there are missing appliances, they have to have those replaced. “But don’t ask for the moon.”
First-time buyers are very savvy and sophisticated about what’s going on, whereas someone who has been around a long time — they think they know it all.
First-timers normally account for about 40 percent of home purchases, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).